The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

You can use this homepage for posting comments, reviews, and other things that cannot be posted to the group. Of course spam is not allowed. Thanks!

To join the Dallas Movie Screening Yahoo Group:
dallasmoviescreenings-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:
http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

Logo art by Steve Cruz http://www.mfagallery.com

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Friday, December 31, 2010

Reesa's Best and Worst Movies for 2010

This really hasn't been a stellar year for films when I have to carefully contemplate which has been my fave of the year. Usually one will hit me like a tsunami as Avatar did which lost out to The Hurt Locker at awards time. I wasn't too unhappy with the result because it was also a good film and deserved to be recognized. So if any of my top movies win this year, I will be perfectly satisfied. Would love to hear your top selections!

BEST PICTURE:

1.Inception

This was a hard decision. I'm not a big fan of Leo DiCaprio, and the concept for the film is often hard to decipher with the dream within a dream within a dream. But that's also the best thing about the movie. Never knew where it was going. Loved the cinematography and FX, the spinning top ending that had everyone groaning. Plus I have not gotten tired of watching it after numerous screenings. Will it win? Doubt it. My gut says the winner will be...

2.Black Swan

I love this film. Natalie Portman was a revelation. My number one pick for best actress. The close up from her perspective of the dance world, the creepy stage mom by welcome back to the big screen Barbara Hershey and Mila Kunis redeems herself after the Book of Eli (which I really didn't think was all that bad).

3.The Fighter

Probably one of the best sports movie I've seen. Not a big boxing fan, but loved the intimate and realistic look of Lowell, MA and it denizens. Made me homesick. Christian Bale should be a shoe-in for best supporting actor as is Melissa Leo for best supporting actress.

4.True Grit

How can anyone improve on John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn? Jeff Bridges that's who. The Coen Brothers with their unique perspective fashioned the movie to closely align with the book rather than after the 1968 version. The period speak sold me right away. And Hailee Steinfeld was a great find.

5.127 Hours

After Buried, didn't think another single man caught in an unfortunate situation was going to be a big sell. But in the hands of Danny Boyle who visually kept our attention and James Franco's amazing performance makes this one of the top movies of the year.

6.The Town

Will everyone please stop putting down Ben Affleck! Tight, tense, and engrossing crime action drama featuring a great turn by Jeremy Renner. One of the big surprises this year. At least for me.

7.Winter's Bone

Caught this at the film festivals this year and was blown away. Depressing as all get out with Jennifer Lawrence making my Best Actress list. You see this film you don't forget it.

8.The King's Speech

The big feel good movie of the year. Colin Firth really deserves the prize over my beloved James Franco. Like Secretariat, you cheer for success even though you know the outcome.

9.Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Why this movie has not found a distributer is a mystery. One of the best of this genre that will keep you laughing til tears fall.

10.The Music Never Stopped

I don't even know if this movie ever got a wide release, but it should have. A truly indie flick with a huge heart that will make you weep tears of love and redemption. The most sincere movie that does not manipulate your feelings.

Honorable Mentions:

I have tons of favorite films that may not be award worthy, but worth watching. In no particular order:

Secretariat, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Machete, Mao's Last Dancer, The Man From Nowhere, The Social Network, The Ghost Writer, Kick-Ass, Micmacs, Blue Valentine, Youth in Revolt, The People vs. George Lucas, Monsters, Cargo, Lemmy, Pelada, Thundersoul, Exit Through the Giftshop, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Loved Ones, The Good the Bad and the Weird.

WORST FILM of 2010:

This year had an abundance of rom-coms queens, Katherine Heigel, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Queen Latifa and Drew Barrymore redoing the formula flicks of Meg Ryan. Cute, mindless, and basically a waste of time. I'm also annoyed by the over use of 3D to sell animated films to kids. After Avatar, all other 3D is garbage. Including Tron:The Legacy which was disappointing but not bad enough to be included on the Worst of the Year list. Also there are some that I absolutely refused to see like Yogi Bear and Grown-Ups.

1. Sex and City 2
2. The Last Airbender
3. Skyline
4. I'm Still Here
5. Clash of the Titans
6. Cop-Out
7. Alice in Wonderland
8. Marmaduke
9. Wolfman
10. Dinner With Schmucks.

See you in 2011 for more good and bad and weird movies!
reesa



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10 Best and Worst Movies for 2010 by Raymond Garcia

I see movies for a chance to escape the daily routines of the day. Not that I have a stressful routine but it gives me that chance to see the potential of others and I can live vicariously through them.

This year, I saw some good films and there were those that were just plain bad. I remember only walking out of one film this year and that's after I gave it one hour of my time. I was hoping it could redeem itself so I stayed in the theater longer than I really should have. Well, it didn't work for me so I left my guest to finish the film while I checked out the remainder of Scott Pilgrim vs the World once again. There's a movie I could see over and over again. OH WAIT! I DID!

My top ten films made me cry, made me laugh, made me think, made me applaud but most importantly, let me have fun. I was inspired (The Music Never Stopped). I had anxiety (127 Hours). I was amazed (Toy Story 3). I was thoroughly entertained (Kick-Ass). I was intrigued (Inception) and I was giddy; "It's SO FLUFFY!" (Despicable Me).

The worst movie I saw and couldn't finish was THE EXPENDABLES. As much testosterone that was in that movie, we could have bottled it up and sold it as 'MAN THE FUCK UP" and made a killing (no pun intended). The acting was undesirable with the exception of Jason Stathum, because he can do no wrong in my book. Yogi Bear was so Saturday morning cartoonish that I wondered why it didn't go directly to DVD. It should have bypassed the theaters completely.

So with those thoughts running through my head, I can say that I enjoyed myself at the movies watching beautiful faces on the big screen (Charlie St. Cloud, The Prince of Persia, The Tourist, Tangled, Love and Other Drugs, Eat Pray Love), crying (The Music Never Stopped, Dear John), looking away (Saw 3D, 127 Hours, Unstoppable, Jackass 3D), cheering (Secretariat, Machete, The Warrior's Way, The Man From Nowhere) or just shake my head (Symbol, MacGruber, Monsters, Stone, The Square) thinking, WTF was that?

That's why I go to the movies; to escape. Thank you 2010 for providing me that route.

10. 127 HOURS
09. DESPICABLE ME
08. KICK-ASS
07. THE TOWN
06. TANGLED
05. THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED
04. INCEPTION
03. TOY STORY 3
02. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD


My favorite film of the year: THE SOCIAL NETWORK

The worst films (such a harsh word except for rating THE EXPENDABLES); these are the ones that just didn't do it for me:

ALPHA AND OMEGA
YOGI BEAR
STONE
THE EXPENDABLES
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED
THE VIRGINITY HIT
CATS AND DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE
FURRY VENGEANCE
JONAH HEX
MARMADUKE


See you at the movies.
Raymond Garcia

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Casino Jack



In 2006 the story broke all over the news of how Washington Super lobbyist Jack Abramoff was involved with corruption and scandal that led to the conviction of not only himself but nine other lobbyists and congressional staffers. The crimes related to the defrauding of American Indian tribes, fraudulent dealing with SunCruz Casino's and trading expensive trips, meals and gifts in exchange for political favors.

Kevin Spacey plays the fast talking, conniving lobbyist with flair and uber enthusiasm. Abramoff truly believes he's doing good work for his country. His lobbyist firm was hoping that he would use his familiarity with the Republic powers in the White House to generate more revenue with high dollar clients. Instead Abramoff is working questionable clients with borderline legalities while padding the pockets of congressman for their votes. Barry Pepper is Michael Scanlon his right hand man convinces him to try and get more of the American Indian money by pocketing part of the huge retainers. Abramoff uses sleazy mattress store owner Adam Kidan (Jon Lovitz) as the front man while they buy the close to bankrupt SunCruz Casino's run by Greek gangster types. The quick rise to power, greed and consumption should have been a warning sign. Even Abramoff's wife Pam (Kelly Preston) refuses to face the quick and inevitable down fall. Who knows how long this could have gone on if Scanlon's girlfriend Emily (Rachelle Lefevre) didn't use the discovery of bright red panties in her fiancé's dry cleaning to topple the kingdom.

Spacey is always a force on screen, and he inhabits Abramoff with extreme self confidence, name dropping, and the ability to mimic movie star impressions. The opening scene of Abramoff brushing his teeth while firing up his mental engines with an ego driven monologue lets you know right off what you can expect. He's a family man, devoutly religious and totally unrepentant to the mayhem that results from their crimes. Barry Pepper who was barely recognizable in True Grit is all lean edges with hyperactive overdrive as Abramoff's lead cheerleader and instigator of some of the dealings with the Indian tribes. Why anyone would trust these guys is barely glossed over as everyone seems to think they way to happiness is the large amount of cash and benefits these lobbyists offer. Norman Snider's confusing screenplay doesn't give much back story to these slick salesmen. How they manipulate all these people while they stand around in their offices punting golf balls, and patting each other on their shoulders for making more ill gotten gains doesn't make much sense. You really came to see Kevin Spacey who hopefully be getting more roles after garnering a Golden Globes nomination for his portrayal. Director George Hickenlooper whose first feature length documentary, Hearts of Darkness, the making of Apocalypse Now passed away seven weeks before this films' release.
(Review by reesa)

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 12/26 - 1/1

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and wishing everyone a very safe and Happy new year full of movie screenings!

Only 1 screening this week, but you never know what may pop up at the last minute. Keep an eye on your list mail and check the calendar on the group pages. If you signed up for the group, you must have gone to the group page, so in answer to some newbies, please add the group pages to your favorites for all the great resources we have collected there in the links section.

December 26, 2010 - January 1, 2011

Sun
12/26

Mon
12/27

Tue
12/28

Wed
12/29

7:00 pm
Casino Jack
The Magnolia

Thu
12/30

Fri
12/31

Sat
1/1


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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rabbit Hole



Eight months after Becca and Howie lost their young child in a car accident they are living like the walking wounded. They function with the daily routine of living and no one is talking about the elephant in the room. In fact Becca begins to erase all evidence of her son but removing his drawings from the refrigerator and packing up his clothing. Howie sits alone in a room watching a video of his son as the child's voice echoes like a ghost through the house.

Statistics show that many couples who suffer the death of their child often end up getting divorced. You can see it brewing between Becca and Howie (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) as their communication is polite and perfunctory. Each holding back the wave of emotion that threatens to burst. We watch as they press the boundaries of who they were before to who they are becoming now. Their friends, family and neighbors try to break through but Becca has build an uncomfortable wall around her that she paints with a smile while her eyes say “not ready”. Becca spends her days baking pies and cakes while Howie goes to work as a suited executive. He may play racket ball with his friend, but his wife and Becca's best friend is too afraid to call her. Becca learns that her irresponsible sister Izzy (Tammy Blanchard) is pregnant and was afraid of telling her. Although Becca claims she is alright with this they attend a grief support group with other parents of children who have died. This has the best scene in the movie which is also in the trailer. It shows the spark of personality, wit and edge that Becca may have had before the tragedy. The rest of the time they are sleep walking.

Becca sees the teenager that had fatally hit her son with his car. She begins to stalk him, watching him get off his school bus, picking up a book that he returned to the library and checking it out herself. Eventually they meet and they slowly confess their feeling of guilt and recrimination. Jason (Miles Teller) is creating a comic book where there are several dimensions existing side by side. Somewhere they are living lives that are happy, or sad, or completely different from what they are doing now. Becca finds some solace in this concept.

Director of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchell and Pulitzer winning screenwriter David Lindsay adapted the stage play of the same name to a wider canvas on screen. They action in the play centers in the living room and kitchen. They movie may have opened the surrounding but the emotional turmoil keeps the film closed in. Kidman's tall angular Becca is almost saintlike in her portrayal, but her character is unlikable. You want to shake her awake and get on with her life. Eckhart feeling the frustration of trying to connect with his wife almost caves to having an affair. Dianne Wiest as Becca's mom Nat, is as usual worthy of a supporting nod as well as all the acting from the principals. With all this angst you would hope the cathartic moment of the movie would bring closure and resolution, but the director has kept everyone at arms length through the whole story, that by the time it comes, you don't care.
(Review by reesa)


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gulliver's Travels



Hopefully there will come to a point when Jack Black will be too old to play these arrested development under achievers. Teamed with Rob Letterman best known for animated feature movies and writers Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller who has taken Jonathan Swifts' beloved book and turned it into every Jack Black movie you have ever seen.

Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) have been working in the mail room of the New York Tribune for the last 10 years. Keeps his head down, doesn't make waves, is not ambitious enough to go beyond the comfortable job security. His new assistant Dan (T.J. Miller) is promoted to his boss after one day. It prompts him to finally try to ask out the Travel Editor Darcy Silverman instead falters and tells her that he wants to write travel articles. He plagiarizes some writing samples and she send him to cover the Bermuda triangle. A storm comes up at sea and his batter ship lands him on an island where he awakens to discover he is tied up by tiny steam punk dressed Lilliputians who call him the beast. General Edward (Chris O'Dowd) believes he has captured a Blefuscian spy. In the cave prison he meets Horatio (Jason Segel) who is there because he flirted with Princess Mary (Emily Blunt) who is being courted by General Edward. Commoners are not allowed to talk to royalty unless they do something valiant. When the Blefucians attack and try to kidnap the princess, Gulliver breaks free and saves the day. He's declared a hero despite General Edwards protests. Given carte blanche as thanks Gulliver he free Horatio and fills the Lilliputians with pop culture references as his life story. They recreate Times Square for him with his face on every poster. Gulliver encourages Horatio to court the Princess. Angry Edward takes down the country's defenses but Gulliver once more overcomes. Until the enemy with Edward's help creates something that the giant beast cannot over come.

Billy Connolly is basically wasted as King Theodore. O'Dowd is amusing as the egocentric general who can't give one reason why he loves the princess besides her chest. Emily Blunt is probably the best of the lot with her bored and clueless princess. Then we have to believe that Amanda Peet really likes Gulliver the mail room guy even after he basically causes war among the little people. The vision of Black in a doll dress with a giant little girl is not enough to redeem the movie that pretty much lost it after he got sent to that island. There are some amusing bits in film, but when the cast breaks out in rock and roll song at the end you know it's jumped the shark. It will bring in the home for the holiday crowds, but will sink fast to DVD.
(Review by reesa)

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

True Grit



In the late 1800's the voice of Mattie Ross reflects back to the time when she was 14 a drifter named Tom Chaney shot her father to death after a bar room brawl. The strong willed independent young woman travels from the family farm in west center Arkansas to Fort Smith to claim her father's body and hire someone to bring Chaney to justice.

Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross is a more believable as a young teen than the 22 year old Kim Darby of the 1969 version of the movie. Hailee looks the age and has the necessary straightforward manner that comes as a surprise to those who encounter her Mattie Ross. After arranging for the shipping home of her father's body, she barters for the money back for the horses that her father had purchased with some canny horse tradeing. With the cash she seeks out a US Marshall to go after Chaney (Josh Brolin). After hearing the qualifications of the men she selects Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) an aging one eyed whiskey drinker who has a reputation to shoot first and ask questions later because he seems to have “true grit”. Cogburn needs the money and teams up with Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Matt Damon) who is also tracking Chaney for shooting a senator and his dog, plus the reward money. They take off before Mattie can join them, but later let her be part of the posse when she proves her resourcefulness and tenacity. Cogburn and La Boeuf do not get along and there's a humorous exchange of banter between the two until La Boeuf finally gets too angry and leaves. Mattie and Cogburn continue to follow Chaney's trail who has joined up with the criminal “Lucky” Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper) and his gang in the Oklahoma Indian territory.

Jeff Bridges plays Cogburn as the barely intelligible hard drinking ornery Marshall chews the scenery with the best of them. Damon as La Boeuf (pronounced la Beef) adds a comic touch to self important Ranger who thinks everything they do in Texas is superior to the rest of the world. The writing/directing team of Ethan and Joel Coen prove once again their attention to the details in period pieces. The costumes, the props and location follow the 1968 novel by Charles Portis more closely including what happens to Mattie after the big adventure. The unique feature of the Coen production is the language which has the courtly cadence of a time store novel. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld is brilliant as the precocious Mattie who is both child and grownup in her attitude as the oldest in the family taking care of business. Her moral righteousness does not turn away from the harsh reality of the violence that Cogburn brings down around them in their pursuit. In comparing the John Wayne version with Jeff Bridges is like apples and oranges. Both have powerful performances, and this new one is fortunately not saddled with a Glenn Campbell or Kim Darby.
(Review by reesa)

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Little Fockers



Ben Stiller once again reprises his role as Greg “Gay” Focker in the movie Little Fockers. True to form the movie is full of embarrassing scenarios and over the top mishaps that really can only ever happen to a character that Ben Stiller portrays. Incidentally, I actually feel embarrassed and upset by what happens to his roles. I guess it’s the way he portrays the characters. He gives off that everyman flair with almost cartoon-esque caricature. I find myself shielding my eyes when the eventualities beset him, mostly because if anything like that ever happened to me, I would probably go hole up somewhere and die. Not immediately of course, I would bring food and the hole would be close to a stable WIFI connection, but I digress.

The premise of this movie is simple. Get Greg Focker within earshot of Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) and you will have pure comedy silver. Basically, Jack is getting old and is a good panic attack away from a cardiac arrest. In the musings over his long family tradition he decides that since the guy he was going to hand over the reins to is a cheating jerk, Greg Focker would have to do. He would have to be the one who inherits the role of patriarch and successor to the Byrne clan legacy. Unfortunately Ben Stiller characters are cursed and that is much of the movies comedy right there. When you toss in Kevin Rawley (Owen Wilson) to mix it up with Greg’s wife Pam (Teri Polo) when his love life is called into question, you get a few more nostalgic chuckles as you wonder if that old relationship will take off and make Greg’s life even more entertaining. On top of that, you have Greg’s parents Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) and Roz (Barbra Streisand) showing you that, really, Greg never had a chance.
So those are all Meet the Parents alums, what is new you ask? Jessica Alba. She portrays Andi Garcia a drug sales rep. She didn’t have to say a single word and I would have paid for that ticket. (I didn’t)

Seriously she is freaking hot.

Oh, but the acting, well, if I am honest, she was alright. Jessica does bubbly well or at least I think she does it well, but that may be my genitals talking. Acting in this movie was actually its strong suit. Robert De Niro is apparently so masterful an actor he doesn’t even have to try anymore he just exudes expertise and command. I recognized his face and pointed and said “Hey, De Niro” and all that, but as soon as he started talking I remembered Jack Byrnes and forgot he was acting. Ben Stiller had that effect too, but I think it was more that he mostly plays the same character anyways and it happens to be Greg Focker. I wanted to punch Dustin Hoffman’s Bernie over and over in the face till failure, so I guess that is a credit to him too.  Don’t get me started on Barbra’s Roz. I feel bad for Greg Focker, I’ll leave it at that.
All in all, I enjoyed this movie. The laughs are as frequent as they are intense and the story flowed well.

Jessica Alba is hot. (Call me Jess;)

(Review by Quinn Cruz-Hawkins)

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Holiday's movie group! Hope everyone is behaving themselves. It's going to be a light schedule this week and I won't harass y'all with those annoying rules, like watching your quick replies to the group instead of the person and such. Your emails will just get deleted. ho ho ho!

Anyways...keep safe, don't drive while drinking, and wear your seatbelt so we can all share the great screenings I hope we will continue enjoy in the new year.

December 19 - 25, 2010

Sun
12/19

Mon
12/20

7:30 pm
Gulliver's Travels
AMC Northpark

Tue
12/2

7:30 pm
The Green Hornet
AMC Firewheel

Wed
12/22

Thu
12/23

10:00 pm
Horror Remix: You Better Watch Out
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Fri
12/24

Sat
12/25

All Day
Christmas Day
Around your tree

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Fighter



Northwest of Boston in the blue collar community of Lowell, MA “The Pride of Lowell” fighter Dicky Ward knocked down the world champion Sugar Ray Leonard. Having lost the fight, Dicky fell on hard times and drug abuse. His younger brother Mickey has become the family's hope for a champion but he continues to lose under his mother's management and his unreliable trainer Dicky. It takes his rock solid girlfriend Charlene to help him break away from his dysfunctional family and earn a shot as the World Champion.

Director David O. Russel takes on the bio pic of real life fighter “Irish” Mickey Ward who was three times a New England Golden Gloves winner and turned pro in 1985. After losing four punishing fights, the last almost killing him, he took a hiatus while he worked on a street paving crew to afford the surgery on his right hand after an altercation with the police arrested his brother. Mark Wahlberg trained for four years and was friends with Ward as both men came from working class neighborhoods. Christian Bale lost weight to play Dicky Eklund the troubled brother. Their tough as nails mother is played by Melissa Leo. Amy Adams went against type as the sexy waitress Charlene.

An HBO crew making a documentary on crack use follows Dicky around his drug house, and while training his brother. Dicky thinks they are filming him because he's going to have a possible comeback after he knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard 10 years before. Dicky is proud of his brother, but can never seem to show up on time to train him. His money grubbing monster mother/manager sets up fights for him as a “stepping stone”...the person put into fights so that another fighter can advance. The fighter that Mickey trained to face has the flu and is replaced by a guy who is 20 lbs heavier and Mickey takes a beating. Everyone knows he shouldn't have taken the fight, but the family would not have been paid if he bowed out. A promoter from Las Vegas thinks he shows heart and promise offers him the chance to train all year but he has to get rid of his brother and mother. Mickey would rather quit the game because the prospect of telling his family fills him with dread. It isn't until he meets Charlene the sweet but tough bartender who his seven trashy sisters call an “MTV girl” because she went to college. She motivates him to take control of his career. The family guilts him into one more fight, but a few days before his brother gets into a brawl with the local cops who end up breaking Mickey's hand. With Dicky in prison, drying out from his addiction, Mickey manages to get new trainers and investors. He begins to win the next few fights leading him to a chance for a world championship. Even with everything that he's accomplished he still wants his brother. Despite his foibles Dicky knows the fight game and Mickey wants his big brother at his side.

Director David O. Russell shoots the boxing scenes as the rough and brutal sport that it is. There's no flashy cuts or jerky camera shots as the competitors plummet each other. This is basically a hero rising to the occasion tale and you know from the start that he will win at the feel good end. The journey to that point turns in strong fascinating performances by Wahlberg, Leo, Adams and most notably Christian Bale as the egocentric happy go lucky motor mouthed train wreck. It's interesting at the end with the credits we get to see the real brothers and you can see how Bale captured Dicky spot on. The Fighter will probably be in the top 10 of sporting movies about boxing. And if Bale does not take home the golden statue this year it will be a wicked freakin' crime.
(Review by reesa)

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Tron Legacy



Kevin Flynn the CEO of ENCOM and master game developer disappears leaving behind his seven year old son. Now twenty years later, Sam Flynn the rebellious major stock holder of his father's company, sabotages a board meeting where Richard Mackey is trying to take over the company. Kevin's old friend Alan Bradley tells Sam he received a page from the phone in his father's old office at the arcade that's been disconnected for just as many years. He believes his father is trying to communicate with him from “the Grid”.

Sam (Garrett Hedlund) races his motorcycle on city streets, hacks security systems of ENCOM then jumps off building to parachute down. He's confident and fearless, but still has unresolved issues with his missing dad. After Bradley (Bruce Boxlieitner) directs him to the old Flynn arcade, Sam discovers his father's secret office behind a Tron video game machine. The desktop screen activates a special machine that digitizes him into “the Grid” the virtual world where Kevin has been trapped all these years. Sam realizes that the stories his father had told him as a child is true. He's picked up by helmeted military types, then transported with other hapless individuals who are Programs (represented as human figures that resemble their creators) to fight in gladiator types of events. Sam is outfitted by some cyber-babes into a skintight lighted tank suit. He battles other “programs” with Frisbee type rings on his back that slice and dice. When they discover he's a “user”, he's brought to the leader who looks just like Kevin Flynn when he was young. Sam at first thinks he's found his father, but it's really Clu, the program that Kevin had created to make a perfect world of the grid. Expect as everyone knows you can't leave such responsibility to a computer program because machines will eventually want to take over the world. Clu has Sam compete in the lightcycle races where if the program beings are destroyed they shatter like glass. Sam is rescued by Quorra (Olivia Wilde) who takes him to his real father who spend all this time Zen-ing out. Turns out that Clu had sent the page call knowing that Sam will open the gateway to the real world. It's up to Sam, his dad and Quorra to get to the portal, back to the world and seal off Clu's plan for world domination.

Director Joseph Kosinski who is also tackling another cheesy Disney scifi movie The Black Hole, could have used more help from the screenplay by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Life in the grid is dark, better to show off the lighted suits and cycles no doubt but it's like sitting in a half lighted room. Makes you sleepy. The action scenes are the only exciting moments with today's technology put to good use. If you are unfamiliar with the original 1982 movie you will not get any help here. The gobbly gook explanation of how you transport people into cyberland, the creatures that were created there, and why programs look like people has to be accepted in good faith while waiting for the next FX wonder. Jeff Bridges playing himself at his normal age and as a computer generated young Jeff Bridges is fun. Pretty soon we won't be able to trust anything we see on screen. There are some fun moments to enjoy, the racing and battles scenes, but not feeling anything new and amazing. The 3D effects were also not impressive. It's worth seeing, but don't expect to be blown away.
(Review by reesa)



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The Tempest



Julie Taymor best known as the director of the stage play The Lion King and the movies Across the Universe and Frida tackles Shakespeare's by changing the lead role of Prospero to a woman and the wispy Ariel is mostly FX. Gathering a star studded cast of Helen Mirren, David Strathairn, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Tom Conti, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred Molina and Russel Brand has the potential to made Taymor's adaptation more than just a curiosity.

Propera (Helen Mirren) had been shipwrecked with her four year old daughter Miranda after fleeing from Milan when her husband the Duke died. Her position was usurped with the help of the King of Naples Alonso (David Strathairn) and her brother Antonio (Chris Cooper) who claimed power by declaring his sister a witch. For twelve years Prospera raised Miranda with only a slave Callban, who was the son of the witch Sycorax and was already living on the island. Prospera has become both father and mother to the now grown up Miranda (FelicityJones). When the King's ship sails closely to her island Prospera uses her mystical powers to brew a tempest to force her enemies to land unharmed. She uses her sprite Ariel (Ben Whishaw) to aid in guiding the King, his brother Sebastian (Alan Cummings), Antonio and his adviser Gonzalo (Tom Conti) who had helped Prospera escape. Sebastian and Antonio plot to kill the King so his brother can take his place but is thwarted by Ariel. Meanwhile the King's butler Stephano (Alfred Molina) and the jester Trinculo (Russell Brand) meet up with Callban who they offer liquor. Callban wanting to be rid of Prospera's control plots with the two clowns to rule the island with his help. If that wasn't enough happening, Prospera orchestrates the meeting of Alfonso's son Fredinand (Reeve Carney) and Miranda who outside of Callban has never seen another person. They are immediately smitten. Ariel willingly does Prospera's bidding with the promise of freedom when all is said and done.

Shakespeare's story of love, honor, revenge and forgiveness is played out in a harsh but luscious landscape. Taymor's sets and costumes are visually appealing and beautifully eclectic. Only the appearance of Brand dressed and acting like he does in most movies, is in contrast to the period armor worn my the King and his men. The dialogue is made palatable by the caliber of thespians making it easy to grasp when you can understand their accents. It was especially difficult on the wind swept ship making it almost inaudible. This will probably be a popular way to introduce high school students to Shakespeare's with the comedic Brand and Molina, but for those not too familiar with this genre will not likely flock to see it.
(Review by reesa)


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The King's Speech



Sometimes I stammer and stutter during a conversation, thinking of the next words that will come out of my mouth. This is just a temporary setback because I get my thoughts in order and the conversation continues.

Unfortunately, for The Duke of York, the man born Albert Frederick Arthur George (Colin Firth), this was not the case. Having suffered a stammer since childhood, due from constantly being ignored by his father and picked on by his older brother Edward (Guy Pearce), the future King George VI must experience yet another public speaking engagement as all eyes and ears are upon him. His supportive wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), after many attempts to find a doctor to cure her husband of his stammering, hires an Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to help. With such eccentric methods Lionel has of working with each patient, we can't help but laugh at some of his unorthodox ways of getting to the root of the problem, including screaming swear words while speaking or speaking live on the radio under blankets. Lionel refuses to call his patient by Your Highness or Your Majesty and instead insists on calling him by his family nickname, Bertie. In Lionel's world, there is no difference between royalty and commoners.

Radio is just coming into play at this time, so Albert finds himself having to make speeches to the masses as families gather around the radios listening to every word as if it were their last. The King struggles to overcome his speech defect in order to inform people there is a possibility of entering the war against Nazi Germany.

The story is inspiring as we witness the king overcoming obstacles, trying to have a conversation with those around him. From the first stammer to the last, we enter into the life of the future King George VI with the help of his therapist Logue. We feel for him as he struggles to utter words into the microphone that need to be said keeping the people informed of how the nation stands in regards to the war around them. If you know your history, you are aware of the outcome.

I expect either Colin Firth or Geoffrey Rush to stand in front of the Oscar's podium next year accepting his award for a job well done.

I give THE KING'S SPEECH fa-fa-four and a half stars.

See you at the movies. Raymond Garcia


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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards NOMINATIONS

http://www.goldenglobes.org/blog/2010/12/the-68th-annual-golden-globe-awards-nominations/

The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards NOMINATIONS

HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION
2011 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2010

NOMINATIONS PRESS RELEASE

1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. BLACK SWAN
Protozoa Pictures & Cross Creek Pictures & Phoenix; Fox Searchlight Pictures

b. THE FIGHTER
Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media; Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media

c. INCEPTION
Warner Bros. Pictures UK LTD.; Warner Bros. Pictures

d. THE KING’S SPEECH
See-Saw Films and Bedlam Productions; The Weinstein Company

e. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing

2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. HALLE BERRY FRANKIE AND ALICE

b. NICOLE KIDMAN RABBIT HOLE

c. JENNIFER LAWRENCE WINTER’S BONE

d. NATALIE PORTMAN BLACK SWAN

e. MICHELLE WILLIAMS BLUE VALENTINE

3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. JESSE EISENBERG THE SOCIAL NETWORK

b. COLIN FIRTH THE KING’S SPEECH

c. JAMES FRANCO 127 HOURS

d. RYAN GOSLING BLUE VALENTINE

e. MARK WAHLBERG THE FIGHTER

4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

b. BURLESQUE
Screen Gems; Sony Pictures Releasing

c. THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision, Gilbert Films; Focus Features

d. RED
di Bonaventura Pictures; Summit Entertainment

e. THE TOURIST
GK Films; Sony Pictures Releasing

5. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. ANNETTE BENING THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

b. ANNE HATHAWAY LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS

c. ANGELINA JOLIE THE TOURIST

d. JULIANNE MOORE THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

e. EMMA STONE EASY A

6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. JOHNNY DEPP ALICE IN WONDERLAND

b. JOHNNY DEPP THE TOURIST

c. PAUL GIAMATTI BARNEY’S VERSION

d. JAKE GYLLENHAAL LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS

e. KEVIN SPACEY CASINO JACK

7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

a. DESPICABLE ME
Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment; Universal Pictures

b. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
DreamWorks Animation; Paramount Pictures

c. THE ILLUSIONIST
Django Films, Ciné B and France 3 Cinéma; Sony Pictures Classics

d. TANGLED
Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

e. TOY STORY 3
Disney * Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

a. BIUTIFUL (MEXICO/SPAIN)
Menageatroz, Focus Features International; Roadside Attractions

b. THE CONCERT (FRANCE)
An Oï Oï Oï Productions, Les Productions Du Tresor, France 3 Cinema, Europacorp, Castel Films, Panache Productions, RTBF (Belgian Television), BIM Distrubuzione Co., Canal +, Cinecinema and France 3; The Weinstein Company

c. THE EDGE (RUSSIA)
(Kpaй)
Teleshow/Rock Films; Central Partnership (Russia)

d. I AM LOVE (ITALY)
(LO SONO L’AMORE)
First Sun; Magnolia Pictures

e. IN A BETTER WORLD (DENMARK)
(Hævnen)
Zentropa Entertainment; Sony Pictures Classics

9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

a. AMY ADAMS THE FIGHTER

b. HELENA BONHAM CARTER THE KING’S SPEECH

c. MILA KUNIS BLACK SWAN

d. MELISSA LEO THE FIGHTER

e. JACKI WEAVER ANIMAL KINGDOM

10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

a. CHRISTIAN BALE THE FIGHTER

b. MICHAEL DOUGLAS WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER
SLEEPS

c. ANDREW GARFIELD THE SOCIAL NETWORK

d. JEREMY RENNER THE TOWN

e. GEOFFREY RUSH THE KING’S SPEECH

11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

a. DARREN ARONOFSKY BLACK SWAN

b. DAVID FINCHER THE SOCIAL NETWORK

c. TOM HOOPER THE KING’S SPEECH

d. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN INCEPTION

e. DAVID O. RUSSELL THE FIGHTER

12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

a. DANNY BOYLE, 127 HOURS
SIMON BEAUFOY

b. LISA CHOLODENKO, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
STUART BLUMBERG

c. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN INCEPTION

d. DAVID SEIDLER THE KING’S SPEECH

e. AARON SORKIN THE SOCIAL NETWORK

13. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

a. ALEXANDRE DESPLAT THE KING’S SPEECH

b. DANNY ELFMAN ALICE IN WONDERLAND

c. A.R. RAHMAN 127 HOURS

d. TRENT REZNOR, THE SOCIAL NETWORK
ATTICUS ROSS

e. HANS ZIMMER INCEPTION

14. BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE

a. “BOUND TO YOU” — BURLESQUE
Music by: Samuel Dixon
Lyrics by: Christina Aguilera, Sia Furler

b. “COMING HOME” — COUNTRY STRONG
Music & Lyrics by: Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas, Hillary Lindsey, Troy Verges

c. “I SEE THE LIGHT” — TANGLED
Music by: Alan Menken
Lyrics by: Glenn Slater

d. “THERE’S A PLACE FOR US” — CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE
VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER
Music & Lyrics by: Carrie Underwood, David Hodges, Hillary Lindsey

e. “YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE LAST OF ME” — BURLESQUE
Music & Lyrics by: Diane Warren

15. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

a. BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO)
Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front Productions, HBO Entertainment

b. DEXTER (SHOWTIME)
Showtime, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company

c. THE GOOD WIFE (CBS)
CBS Television Studios

d. MAD MEN (AMC)
Lionsgate Television

e. THE WALKING DEAD (AMC)
AMC

16. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

a. JULIANNA MARGULIES THE GOOD WIFE

b. ELISABETH MOSS MAD MEN

c. PIPER PERABO COVERT AFFAIRS

d. KATEY SAGAL SONS OF ANARCHY

e. KYRA SEDGWICK THE CLOSER

17. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

a. STEVE BUSCEMI BOARDWALK EMPIRE

b. BRYAN CRANSTON BREAKING BAD

c. MICHAEL C. HALL DEXTER

d. JON HAMM MAD MEN

e. HUGH LAURIE HOUSE

18. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. 30 ROCK (NBC)
Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video and Little
Stranger Inc.

b. THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS)
Warner Bros. Television

c. THE BIG C (SHOWTIME)
Showtime, Sony Pictures Television, Perkins Street Productions, Farm Kid, Original Film

d. GLEE (FOX)
Ryan Murphy Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television

e. MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
Twentieth Century Fox Television

f. NURSE JACKIE (SHOWTIME)
Showtime, Lionsgate Television, Jackson Group Entertainment, Madison Grain Elevator, Inc. & Delong Lumber, Caryn Mandabach Productions


19. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. TONI COLLETTE UNITED STATES OF TARA

b. EDIE FALCO NURSE JACKIE

c. TINA FEY 30 ROCK

d. LAURA LINNEY THE BIG C

e. LEA MICHELE GLEE

20. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. ALEC BALDWIN 30 ROCK

b. STEVE CARELL THE OFFICE

c. THOMAS JANE HUNG

d. MATTHEW MORRISON GLEE

e. JIM PARSONS THE BIG BANG THEORY


21. BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. CARLOS (SUNDANCE CHANNEL)
Sundance Channel

b. THE PACIFIC (HBO)
Playtone and DreamWorks in association with HBO Films

c. PILLARS OF THE EARTH (STARZ)
Starz, Tandem Communications, Muse Entertainment Scott Free Films

d. TEMPLE GRANDIN (HBO)
A Ruby Films, Gerson Saines Production, HBO Films

e. YOU DON’T KNOW JACK (HBO)
Bee Holder, Cine Mosaic and Levinson/Fontana Productions, HBO Films

22. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. HAYLEY ATWELL PILLARS OF THE EARTH

b. CLAIRE DANES TEMPLE GRANDIN

c. JUDI DENCH RETURN TO CRANFORD

d. ROMOLA GARAI EMMA

e. JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT THE CLIENT LIST

23. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. IDRIS ELBA LUTHER

b. IAN MCSHANE PILLARS OF THE EARTH

c. AL PACINO YOU DON’T KNOW JACK

d. DENNIS QUAID THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

e. EDGAR RAMIREZ CARLOS

24. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. HOPE DAVIS THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

b. JANE LYNCH GLEE

c. KELLY MACDONALD BOARDWALK EMPIRE

d. JULIA STILES DEXTER

e. SOFIA VERGARA MODERN FAMILY

25. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. SCOTT CAAN HAWAII FIVE-O

b. CHRIS COLFER GLEE

c. CHRIS NOTH THE GOOD WIFE

d. ERIC STONESTREET MODERN FAMILY

e. DAVID STRATHAIRN TEMPLE GRANDIN





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Monday, December 13, 2010

Black Beauty Car Tour from THE GREEN HORNET


Click on image for larger view.


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Movies Scheduled for the Week of 12/12 - 12/18

Only a couple more shopping weeks until the holidays. And this week is packed full of Oscar contending movies to compete with our busy schedules. Hope y'all enjoy whichever ones you decided to attend. Remember that releasing passes at the last minute may not help anyone as the moderators will be in line waiting for the movie too and not by a computer to release your email.

Another reminder to those folks who just don't seem to comprehend. Please do not ask for passes if there are contests pending. You cannot ask for a pass without making some attempt to get it on your own. People who abuse this system will find their mooching requests deleted and not forwarded to the group. And the moderators will not tell you that we did that, because if you are a member in good standing, then you obviously know better and we appreciate your diligence. If you are finding your messages are getting rejected, then perhaps you better think twice before hitting that send button.


December 12 - 18, 2010

Sun
12/12

Mon
12/13

7:30 pm
Tron Legacy
Cinemark West Plano

Tue
12/14

7:30 pm
Rabbit Hole
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

7:30 pm
True Grit
Cinemark West Plano

7:30 pm
The Fighter
AMC Northpark

8:00 pm
True Grit
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

Wed
12/15

7:30 pm
How Do You Know
Studio Movie Grill Dallas

8:00 pm
Tron Legacy
Cinemark 17

Thu
12/16

7:30 pm
True Grit
The Angelika Dallas

7:30 pm
LITTLE FOCKERS

7:30 pm
Green Hornet
Cinemark West Plano

8:00 pm
Tron: Legacy
TBA

Fri
12/17

Sat
12/18


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Friday, December 10, 2010

Vote for the Dallas Country Strong Winner

For for Lindsey Harding from Longview, TX the DFW winner at the recent Country Song competition at:

http://www.cmt.com/asm/country-strong/

Click on image for larger view:



http://www.cmt.com/asm/country-strong/


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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader



The third book and movie of The Chronicles of Narnia series follows the adventures of the younger Pevensie children Lucy and Edmund. Older sibling Susan is in America with the parents and Peter is studying for the University. They are living with their relatives and persnickety cousin Eustace who is not very happy with their presence. Lucy and Edmund are drawn to a painting on the wall of a rolling ocean with a tall ship in the distance when the waves start pouring out filling the room. As they break to the surface the three young people are in the middle of an ocean being rescued by the crew of the Dawn Treader in the Kingdom of Narnia.

A year has passed since Lucy and Edmund (Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes) had last been to Narnia. Eutace Scrubb (Will Poulter) who had always found his cousins nuts for always talking about what he considered a fantasy is suddenly thrust in the middle of it. His literal mind is having a hard time coming to grips to his predicament eventually fainting at the sight of talking creatures. Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) is on a task to rescue the seven lost lords who had ventured to find the corrupting evil that resides on the dark islands. They must find the lord's 7 swords to be laid on Aslams' table for the spell to be broken. Along the way they must endure different perils which has become the standard in all quest movies. They have also been warned that not only must they overcome these different hazards they must also face their deepest temptations that may have dire consequences.

Book fans may be disappointed that movie doesn't cover everything but the film is almost 2 hours which is about as long a younger audience can sit still. There are plenty of odd creatures to keep their attention like dufflepuds, magicians, minotars, fawns and Reechieep (Simon Pegg), the mouse. There's also scary green fog that makes people disappear and sea serpents. It's sad to see that Susan and Peter only show up briefly as they are considered too old and mature to return to Narnia. The story is left in the hands of Lucy and Edmund slip who easily into their roles as royals of Narnia after living in war torn England. Stowaway Eutace gives an amusing running commentary as he fills in his journal about the ridiculousness of his surroundings by not accepting what's right in front of him.

Director Michael Apted with writers Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, and Michael Petroni have created probably the best of the three films so far. The previous installments were fun and original, but didn't seem as cohesive as this entry. Plus it was nice that the 3D images did not induce headaches. Henley and Keynes were more polished, the special effects were more natural, and the stories was tighter concentrating on the quest, rather than long scenes on the wonders of Narnia. The edition of Eustace served as a perspective and comedic relief that left it open for more adventures to come. There were the obvious religious overtones, but it didn't beat one over the head. Outside of the tedious quest game levels the characters must achieve, the Chronicles is a good film for the holidays with the family.
(Review by reesa)

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The Tourist



A beautiful woman walks down the street in Paris. She is being observed by Interpol agents of which she seems to be aware but is ignoring them. After she orders her usual breakfast at an outside cafe, she receives a courier message that tells her to take a train and find someone of the writer's build and size. On the train she selects a vacationing American. This leads the agents to believe that he is Alexander Pearce, the man who stole $744 million from a well known gangster.

Harking back to the heyday of Cary Grant and Eve St.Marie where the glamorous Hollywood actors traipsed about Europe with style and panache, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck skims the surface of this genre without quite the class. Postcard pretty, but the message is just “having a good time wish you were here”. Angelina Jolie dressed to the nines as the mysterious Elise Ward rocking the hour glass gowns is too skinny to be a seductive as Gina Lollabrigida or Sophia Loren. She flaunts an English accent while playing word games with the baffled bearded Johnny Depp as Frank Tupelo an American tourist who is traveling alone reading spy novels. Their chemistry is acceptable with the suggestive glances and coy one liners. The action moves quickly enough that you ignore the plot holes while you enjoy the “A” listers doing what they do best.

Paul Bettany is Acheson the Interpol agent that is obsessed with finding Alexander Pearce. They have been following Elise for some time hoping she would lead them to her former lover. They are confused when they run face recognition on Frank and discover he's just a math teacher from the midwest but they use him just the same to see what Elise is planning. Elise takes Frank to her hotel and after a fancy dinner makes him sleep on the couch. He awakens to find her gone and Russian hit men have invaded the room trying to kill him. Alexander was once the private banker of Ivan Demidov (Steven Berkoff) who sent his henchmen to capture who they think may be the man who had embezzled his fortune. On top of that you have Rufus Sewell roaming around looking debonair and suspicious.

There's a chase on the rooftops with Depp in his jammies. There's kind of a chase in the Venice canals in boats while the bad guys catch up with them after chasing them from the streets. There doesn't seem to be any sense of mortal danger in any of the action scenes. No dark intrigue. Based on the French thriller “ Anthony Zimmer”, writers Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie and Jilian Fellowes seem to have taken out the psychological drama parts and replaced it with a travelogue for Europe. As long as you don't think so closely to the plot it's a nice escape with fabulous hotels, clothing, jewelery, and actors.
(Review by reesa)

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Monday, December 6, 2010

AMC Dine-In Theatres at AMC Grapevine Mills 30

Tickets are still available on GOFOBO for Monday 12/6!

AMC Dine-In Theatres(SM) Is the Star of the Show at AMC Grapevine Mills 30

AMC Theatres® Opens Third In-Theatre Dining Location in a Month

Kansas City, Mo. (Dec. 6, 2010) - AMC Theatres (AMC), a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company, announces that guests in Texas will soon be able to watch the latest movies while enjoying their favorite food and beverages when a renovated wing at AMC Grapevine Mills 30 in Grapevine, Texas opens on Dec. 8.

Just weeks after the debut of AMC Dine-In Theatres at AMC Essex Green 9 in West Orange, N.J. on Nov. 17 and AMC Bridgewater Commons 7 on Nov. 22, AMC Grapevine Mills 30 combines restaurant cuisine and cocktails with AMC's noted immersive movie theatre experience and hit movies.

"We are excited to present AMC Grapevine Mills 30 as another one of our flagship AMC Dine-In Theatres," said Gerry Lopez, chief executive officer and president, AMC. "This concept showcases the options we provide our guests. It's one example of how AMC embraces consumer trends and takes a proprietary approach to food and beverage service at the concession stand and inside our auditoriums."

AMC Dine-In Theatres at AMC Grapevine Mills 30 offers two meal-and-a-movie options inside 13 newly renovated auditoriums as well as a bar and lounge:

Cinema Suites® - Five auditoriums at AMC Grapevine Mills 30 will feature:

* Premium, upscale in-theatre dining
* Reserved seating in luxury recliners
* Up to nine feet of row spacing
* Extensive menu including Cinema Suites specialties such as Bleu Cheese Chips, Blackened Salmon and Lobster Ravioli served on unique swivel tables via seat-side service
* Cinema Suites guests must be at least 21 years old

Fork & Screen® - Eight auditoriums at AMC Grapevine Mills 30 will offer:

* Casual, in-theatre dining
* Upgraded, comfortable reserved seating
* Table-top dining
* An extensive menu including Crab Rangoon Dip, Thai Coconut Chicken Tenders and Chocolate Loving Spoon Cake served via seat-side service
* Fork & Screen guests must be at least 18 years old unless accompanied by a parent or guardian (at least 21)

MacGuffins®

* A full-service bar and lounge area inside the theatre
* Named after a term coined by famed filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock
* Features a variety of beer, wine, cocktails and a selection of appetizers and desserts
* MacGuffins guests must be at least 18 years old; minors accompanied by a parent or guardian (at least 21) are welcome

AMC Dine-In Theatres at AMC Grapevine Mills 30 pricing:

* Adult movie tickets range from $6 to $10 depending on the time of purchase plus a $15 experience charge for Cinema Suites or a $10 experience charge for Fork & Screen
* The $15/$10 experience charge is deducted from meal purchases in the auditorium

AMC Grapevine Mills 30 also offers 17 traditional auditoriums featuring stadium seating, which have been open since the 13 auditoriums in the AMC Dine-In Theatres' wing closed for renovation in September.

In addition to AMC Grapevine Mills 30, AMC will open a fourth AMC Dine-In Theatre location at AMC Menlo Park 12 in Edison, N.J. on Dec. 15.

AMC features five existing AMC Dine-In Theatre locations:

* AMC Bridgewater Commons 7 - Bridgewater, N.J.
* AMC Essex Green 9 - West Orange, N.J.
* AMC Fork & Screen Buckhead - Atlanta
* AMC Studio 30 - Olathe, Kan.
* AMC Mainstreet 6 - Kansas City, Mo.

For more information about AMC Dine-In Theatres, please visit: www.amctheatres.com/dinein.

About AMC Entertainment Inc.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., AMC Entertainment Inc. is a leading theatrical exhibition and entertainment company. With a history of industry leadership and innovation dating back to 1920, the company today serves hundreds of millions of guests annually through interests in 382 theatres with 5,342 screens in five countries. www.AMCTheatres.com.


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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Movies Scheduled for the Week of 12/5 - 12/11

Did anyone go to the new AMC Dine-In at Grapevine this weekend? It was free with an appetizer. GOFOBO had passes available through Monday. I hope it does well and the concept opens closer in the Big "D" since y'all pretty much know that I'm not a big fan of Studio Movie Grill, I'm excited to check out the new venue/food/movie experience in the DFW metroplex. Now I just wish the Alamo Drafthouse would open here too.

The Oscar contender movies always open around the holidays. It just vexes me they have 3 potentially great titles screening on one night next week. As always, everyone behave. Keep the pass trading negotiations off the list. When someone offers a pass they can't use, the moderators are kept busy deleting the mail that gets sent here and not to the person to whom it is intended.

December 5 - 11, 2010

Sun
12/5

Mon
12/6

Tue
12/7

7:30 pm
The Fighter
Angelika Dallas

Wed
12/8

Thu
12/9

7:00 pm
Possum Walk
Studio Movie Grill Arlington

7:30 pm
The Tourist
AMC Northpark

Fri
12/10

Sat
12/11

11:00 am
Yogi Bear
tba-Plano (probably Cinemark West...anyone gets a pass, let me know)


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Friday, December 3, 2010

Warrior's Way



“Ninja's damn...” Great line in the trailer but it doesn't appear in the movie.

The world's most deadly assassin is given the assignment of killing the last member of a enemy clan which turns out to be a cute little baby girl. Upon seeing her face he refuses the mission and flees with the child across the ocean to the American frontier town of Lode to seek refuge with an old friend. Unfortunately his enemies close in putting the town and it's few inhabitants in mortal danger from ninjas.

Korean actor Jan Dong-gun plays Yang the warrior with perfectly coiffed hair and legendary skills that has defeated armies. The narrator immediately tells the viewer that he dead eyes, hence the blank slate of reaction he shows in every situation, danger or happy. Unwilling to kill the child he takes her with him to protect her from the warring clans. When he gets to the former gold rush town he discovers his friend had died. The town is now in shambles inhabited by Ron (Geoffrey Rush) a worn out drunk, a dozen eccentric characters and an odd assortment of circus performers. Yang decides to stay in the town as a laundry man and make a home for the child with the help from Lynne (Kate Bosworth) a knife thrower in training . Yang notices that Lynne has a gift for blades and in turn teaches her martial arts. Lynne is also harboring some secrets of her own that have to do with the Colonel (Danny Huston) who comes back Lode during the town's Christmas celebration. He sends most of his henchmen off to the their next terrorism, while the Colonel stays back with a few men to revisit his favorite “haunts” and find a girl with good teeth. Lynne would do everything in her power to exact revenge. Yang knows that if he uses his “weeping” blade to help Lynne it will immediately reveal his location to the murderous ninjas seeking him.

Written and directed by Sngmoo Lee and produced by Barrie Osborn (Lord of the Rings), Warrior's Way mixes fantasy and action with an East meets West story. Cowboys and Ninjas. The visual effects are stunning with the slo-mo flying ninjas, body parts and clowns. The mayhem involves faceless henchmen armed with guns and swords that leap from the pages of a graphic novel. The backgrounds are saturated with better than real life color like a flower bed impossibly growing from a sandy dusty landscape. The dialogue is terse and not filled with lots of expository. What you see is basically what you get. What you get is a wacky, original, and not to be taken seriously ramen noodle western. Plus it's got the prettiest little baby in the whole world.
(Review by reesa)


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Black Swan



Darren Aronofsky who directed such intense films like The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain took 10 years to make Black Swan from an unrealized screenplay called The Understudy. He considers this film to be a companion piece to the Wrestler which is also about the rigors of physical discipline and performance. Natalie Portman becomes the awards front runner in the role of the year as Nina Sayers an aspiring ballet dancer in a prestigious company who is tapped for the lead role in the Black Swan.

Tchaikovsky’s familiar romantic overtures sweep over the film as Portman's Nina with paper thin skin over a skeletal frame strain to interpret the music in movement. Nina is obsessed with perfection in her dance and is not responding well to the criticism of the artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel). He selected her because she embodies the innocence of the white swan, but she doesn't quite grasp the wildness of the black swan. Thomas suggests masturbation and lots of it as a way of connecting to her repressed passion. It doesn't help her fragile state of mind when charismatic Lily (Mila Kunis) a newly arrived dancer from San Fransisco who may not be a technically great as Nina, is actually more suited temperamentally as the black swan. It is no surprise that Lily is chosen as the alternate swan queen and who may or may not be sabotaging Nina to take over the role. At home Nina's devoted mother and former ballerina Erica (Barbara Hershey) who smothers her with micro managing maternal pride laced with jealousy. Erica's demented “art” of badly drawn portraits of her daughter is rather creepy. Adding to the continual pressure Nina is under is she had been selected to replace Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) the once headliner. In the fickle world of dance she is considered too old at 40 and is forced unwillingly to retire. Her diva-ish tirades hints to Nina what may be store for her in the future as the new lead dancer. It's no wonder that Nina is experiencing an understandably tenuous hold on reality.

Cinematographer Matthew Libatique fills the screen with the backstage sweat and work of the ballet company revealing the reality of the abuse the dancers endure for art. The camera follows Nina as if seeing it from her point of view from her little girl decorated bedroom to the wood floor and mirrored rehearsal halls to the lonely rides on the NYC subway system. Portman's tortured face reflects the fear and determination that Nina exerts in her performance while she is psychologically spinning out of control. The mood of the film is dark and reminiscent of Polanski's claustrophobic Repulsion. At times it's hard to tell what is real and what is Nina's imagination. However this concept may leave viewers confused rather than intrigued which may be the film's weakest point. Portman who trained for a year before filming has already earned a nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards and will probably earn more accolades. The last 10 minutes of the film culminating with the final performance is like a fever dream and one which will stay with you long after you leave the theater.
(Review by reesa)


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Made in Dagenham



In 1968 the Ford sewing machinists went on strike for a day at the Ford Dagenham assembly plant in England tor protest against the issue of being down graded to non skilled worker status. The walk out eventually escalated and was instrumental in the 1970 Equal Pay Act. Director Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls and Saving Grace) with writer William Ivory tells the story of 187 women who sewed car seat covers and took a stand that changed the world.

Sally Hawkins of Happy Go Lucky plays Rita O'Grady a wife and mother who becomes the unlikely voice of the sweatshop workers at the Dagenham plant after their request for a pay raise finds them reclassified as “unskilled” by their greedy bosses. Their Union rep Albert Passingham (Bob Hoskins) urges Rita to stand up (flash to Sally Field in Norma Rae). Women had never went on strike before, and they are at first excited and psyched at the prospect of getting their voices heard. Plucky Rita realizes that nothing will change until issue of equal pay for equal work is solved. Her husband Eddy (Daniel Mays) who is proud of his wife at first is having trouble with the empowered Rita. Not only is Rita busy with a new limelight for her efforts, the strike has put a pinch on their finances and Eddy is unhappy with taking up the slack cooking and cleaning. Most of the blustering male cast from Ford's head of industrial relations Peter Hopkins (Rupert Graves) and the patronizing chief union representative Monty Taylor (Kenneth Cransham) do not fare well. The men look confused and overwhelmed by women who speak their mind and don't back down. Rita bonds with Lisa Hopkins (Rosamund Pike) the wife of the Ford negotiator and encourages her in her struggle. She was once a scholar and is frustrated by the way her husband treats her like she doesn't have a thought of her own. Miranda Richardson really shines as the newly appointed government minister Barbara Castle who eventually helps Rita and her workers make the first step.

The film is interspersed with footage from those times including interviews with the actual strikers in 1968. The music, the fashion, the set decoration are detailed and retro. The accents take a moment to understand especially when everyone is talking at once. Sally Hawkins does a wonderful job as the natural and reluctant leader who finds herself articulate when standing up for what she believes as just. Look for Andrew Lincoln of the Walking Dead in a brief role as the abusive school teacher Mr. Clark. Contemporary young women take for granted the status that they enjoy today that was unthinkable just a few short decades ago. We've come a long way, baby.
(Review by reesa)


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Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Social Network" Named Best Film by National Board of Review

Awards for 2010:

Best Film

The Social Network

Best Foreign Language Film
Of Gods and Men

Top Five Foreign Films
(in alphabetical order) I Am Love, Incendies, Life, Above All, Soul Kitchen, White Material

Best Documentary
Waiting for "Superman"

Top Five Documentaries
(in alphabetical order) A Film Unfinished, Inside Job, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Restrepo, The Tillman Story,

Top Independent Films
(in alphabetical order) Animal Kingdom, Buried, Fish Tank, The Ghost Writer, Greenberg, Let Me In, Monsters, Please Give, Somewhere, Youth in Revolt

Best Actor

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Best Actress
Lesley Manville, Another Year

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress

Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Ensemble Cast
The Town

Breakthrough Performance
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone

Best Director

David Fincher, The Social Network

Debut Directors

Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo

Best Adapted Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Spotlight Award
Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati, The Illusionist

Best Original Screenplay
Chris Sparling, Buried

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3

Special Filmmaking Achievement

Sofia Coppola for writing, directing, and producing Somewhere

Production Design Award

Dante Ferretti, Shutter Island

William K. Everson Award For Film History
Leonard Maltin

Freedom of Expression

Fair Game, Conviction, Howl


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